The state of Tamil Nadu is one that has always remained elusive to the Hindi politicians of Delhi since 1968, when the Congress was trounced and the DMK captured power. So, for more than five decades, no national party could make it to Fort St. George, the seat of power in the state. There are regional parties in other states too, but there there are one or two regional parties and so the national party, be it Congress or the BJP, had a share, at least in the fight. But in Tamil Nadu, the scenario is different and the DMK has broken into various parties, the most important being the AIADMK, and the fight has always been between these two parties, leaving no space for the national parties.
Indira Gandhi, instead of strengthening her party, found an easy way out just to get the support and seats she needed to start piggy-riding on either of these regional parties. The BJP is now struggling, and the main aim of this article is only to highlight the mistakes that are being made by the BJP in its quest to wrest power in the elusive state of Tamil Nadu.
Since MGR and Jayalalithaa rode the TamilNadu political space like a colossus, the Chanakya of the BJP thinks that the easiest route to power in this cinema-crazy state is through a film star, and for that, they are trying to please Rajinikanth in more than one way.
In 2014, when Modi was leading the BJP for the Lok Sabha polls, only in this state, he met two film stars. He went to Rajinikanth’s residence personally to coax him to canvass for him and asked the young actor Vijay to come and visit, and the photos of them together were flashed in the next day’s papers. Both actors were too intelligent and remained silent without uttering a word.
But neither Modi nor Shah learned a lesson from this insult.
It is true that in Tamil Nadu, every actor worth his name dreams of getting into the shoes of the Chief Minister of this state, and all Tamil films are invariably laden with politically charged dialogues,
Still, the BJP and, of course, Chanakya depend on Rajinikanth and are looking at him like a thirsty chatak bird aspiring to drop at least a sentence in favour of the BJP, which would do miracles and make the party sweep the polls, annihilating all the regional parties.
The young Rajinikanth was first introduced to politics by journalist (again, a man with a strong cine background) Cho Ramaswamy during the 1996 elections, when Rajinikanth famously stated against then-Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa that if she is re-elected, even God cannot save Tamil Nadu.And not only did Jayalalithaa herself lose the battle; her party was badly drubbed, with some of her cabinet colleagues losing their deposits.
This incident seems to have been engraved in the minds of politicians in Delhi. This idea was further nourished by Cho (who somehow gained proximity to Modi even when he was the CM of Gujarat) and his associate Gurumurthy (a man with an RSS background and, further, he was against Rajiv Gandhi working for Goenka). They dinned into the ears of Modi and Shah that Rajinikanth is a great force to reckon with or that he can do wonders in changing the vote equation just like MGR and Jayalalitha.
Let us not discuss the dead MGR and Jayalalithaa—but the bitter truth is that Rajinikanth is a zero when compared to the erstwhile AIADMK leaders. But Rajinikanth was extremely smart and cunning. From the year 1996, when he heard people like Cho saying that it was because of Rajinikanth’s propaganda that DMK got to power, he started playing his role.
Yes, he wanted to taste power, so he maintained proximity with Cho and Gurumurthy, and they, at the drop of a hat, failed not to praise Rajinikanth and projected as though he was the messiah who would do wonders for this state. And Rajinikanth made the longing BJP fall in love with him again and again, telling them that he would usher in “spiritual politics” (how foolish politics and spirituality? are these not an oxymoron?) and comparing Shah-Modi’s combination to that of Arjuna and Krishna; this made the BJP fall in love with Rajinikanth again and again, and they did everything to please him.
When the Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest award in the country for actors, was given to Rajinkanth just before elections, Rajinikanth himself was shocked as he took the full 24 hours to come before the media to thank the government for honouring him. His contribution to cinema is zero—he had gained much from cinema and had given nothing to cinema.
According to the grapevine, the present Rajya Sabha seat that has been offered to Music Maestro Ilayaraja was also due to Rajinikanth’s recommendation. So the BJP is still hoping for Rajinikanth’s one sentence – “Please vote for the BJP.”And Modi and Shah think that Tamil voters will immediately vote for them.
Around the 2024 elections, Modi and Shah may decide to gift Rajinikanth with the Bharar Ratna too.!
The Modi-Shah duo may work wonders in the Hindi belt, but in Tamil Nadu, they are being led by Rajinikanth, who is not as powerful a political force (his film career has ended) as Gurumurthy portrays him to the Delhi rulers.
Wake up Modi and Shah before it is too late. You have a good leader in Mr. Annamalai. Depend on him and encourage him instead of running behind Rajinikanth, who instead of promoting you will promote himself in every possible way.